Nepal | August 05, 2020

July 2020 to end with double meteor shower

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KATHMANDU: July 2020, which has been ‘blessed’ with astronomical events, is ending with a double meteor shower this week.

With the comet NEOWISE gradually fading over the sky and getting further away, the approach of meteor showers — delta Aquariids and alpha Capricornids – will be closer to planet Earth on July 28-29.

On this night, when the moon will be 66% full, the Delta Aquariids will show up. These meteors are strong showers best seen from the southern tropics. They are active from July 12th to August 23rd, 2020 peaking on Monday, July 27.

At the peak, if the sky is clear and dark during the predawn period on Monday morning, one might be able to see 25 meteors in an hour.

Another meteor, alpha Capricornids, which is active from July 3 through August 15, is peaking up on the same day (July 28-29) as Delta Aquariids, hence, giving a view of double meteor shower.

With a “plateau-like” maximum centred on July 30, alpha Capricornids is not very strong and rarely produces in excess of five shower members per hour.

Though less strong, this shower has potential in the number of bright fireballs produced during its activity period. This shower is seen equally well on either side of the equator.

If you are far from any light sources or urban light pollution and given that the weather is clear with no clouds or high hazes, and in a place with a clear view of a wide expanse of the sky, you can experience the spectacular view of the shower.

Even if this event is missed, there is another event named Perseids lined up for August 12-13 and this one would be brightest meteor of the year.

Nepal Environment, Geminids meteor shower, Nagarkot

A long exposure picture shows a star trail above the mountain range during the Geminids meteor shower celestial event in Nagarkot, Nepal, on December 14, 2017. Photo: Reuters/File

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